I follow a large number of health blogs and foodie Instagram feeds. They're a wonderful way to gain inspiration for meal planning, and many will include quick and simple recipes in the comments. However, when it comes to breakfast time, it's one big smoothie scroll fest. Whether you're avoiding wheat, soy, peanuts, eggs or animal products in general, breakfast can be tricky, and smoothies are often the easiest way out. Until you start to crave some texture and chewing in your morning routine.
Enter the Perfect (ALLERGY-FREE!) Breakfast Cookie recipe.
Allow me to be up front: if you don't like the taste of bananas, you won't like these guys much unless you do something crazy like tripling the cinnamon and vanilla. Even then...the jury is still out...
A note on the chocolate: As a certified nutritionist, I feel comfortable telling you it's okay to consume chocolate in small quantities as long as you remember this one fact — Not all chocolate is created equal! Choose a darker chocolate (generally means less added sugar and/or milk products), watch for added fillers or emulsifiers (like soy lecithin), and buy organic and fair trade from a trusted brand. My all-time favorite brand is Theo. I've toured their factory in Seattle and they are fantastic from farm to finish. Enjoy Life Foods makes a good allergy-free chocolate chip. Or you can skip the chocolate chips altogether. Sigh.
From Chocolate Maya: "The amount of caffeine in chocolate is far less than that found in a cup of coffee, tea, or colas. Phenylethylamine found in chocolate acts as a stimulant similar to the dopamine and adrenaline produced by the body. Serotonin in chocolate can increase serotonin in the brain. Serotonin levels are often lower in people experiencing PMS or depression. Cocoa beans contain essential minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium, and manganese. Vitamin content includes A, B1, B2, B3, C, E, and pantothenic acid." Not to mention the wonderful dose of antioxidant cocoa flavonoids!
Now that we're all on board...let's get to the breakfast baking.
3 large, very ripe bananas, peeled
1/2 cup creamy all-natural almond butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil, slightly warmed, but not melted
2 tablespoons honey*
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grass-fed gelatin (optional)**
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/2 cups oats (cert. gluten-free if you're sensitive)
3/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat (favorite!).
2. In a large bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork. Really well. Just keep mashing. This is your primary wet ingredient, so get it smooth. Stir in the almond butter, warmed coconut oil, honey, and vanilla extract. Mix until incorporated.
3. Sprinkle in gelatin (optional), baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Then slowly add oats, cup by cup, until well-combined. Lastly, add in the chocolate chips, if you're using them.
4. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, but check them at 10, since all ovens vary slightly. They will continue to cook as they cool (I realize that sounds oxymoronic) on the baking sheet. After several minutes, transfer carefully to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.
These can be stored for several days in the fridge in a glass container. They also freeze really well and can be re-heated to serve warm. So maybe make more than one batch? :)
*If you're a strict vegan, use 100% maple syrup instead (Grade B recommended).
**I'm a bit of a gelatin junky lately, always trying to sneak it into anything I can. Read about its MANY benefits here.